Sunday, April 4, 2010

Authenticity in Art

Image: Gabrielle Jones, "Sapphire relief" 2010 Oil on canvas, 122 x 152cm

Reading the Sunday Life Magazine, published with the Sydney Sun Herald, I came across a line which struck me dumb (not easy to do!) because it so resonated with me, and the musings, of late, regarding my work.
"When you do something for the right reason, the mission is authentic, goals are reached and the world responds to this with recognition and affection. They buy it". Next question: What are my "right reasons" for painting?
So here goes: I need to paint (whether or not someone buys it in the literal or metaphoric sense).
I want to add beauty to the world - not fashionable, I know, but maybe it's time to talk about the benefits of this alone.
I want to add something "other", something which transports people to a memory, a place, an experience when they look at my work; something which enriches their lives on a daily basis.
I want to make people see the world in a different way.
I want to add to the methods of using paint to express experiences or vision.
I want to make new connections- with people, experiences, thoughts - that would not be made if there was no painting.
Next question: Is this enough?
Why do you paint? What are your authentic reasons for making art?


  1. Hi Gabrielle,
    Mmm ... tall question... how to make it simple.

    I paint because i must... ever since I was first given paint by my mother aged about 5.
    I paint with or without shows or similar agendas pressing me to paint...something I have been surprised to find isn't universal - the 'without a deadline' part!
    I paint to bring forward something living in me that needs to be formed into a visual and hopefully poetic language that if I'm lucky will resonate with others - with some maybe drawn to also live with these works.

    Its a very worthwhile exercise to review these motivations from time to time ... so thanks for prodding these thoughts Gabrielle.

    Another thought...I like to survey art from across all time periods and cultures and be very mindful that so called archaic realms are as worthy of attention as anything recent.
    A line I love which I used for a painting last year is "archaic, but reverberating still" For me there is a sense of the eternal that I am very drawn to irregardless of the chronological time in which it is said to have been produced.

    I do like your painting in this post and hope your Easter has been a lovely, long painting session if you have not been away and too busy!

    ps early May...possible Gallery walk/ meeting...UP, your good self and moi ! Actually booked a ticket!

  2. Fantastic - both the visit and the comment! Thanks for your thoughtfulness, as always. I, too, am drawn to the archaic in my work - have spent many happy hours sketching at the Nicholson Museum (largest collection of artifacts in Southern Hemisphere -in Sydney uni) and have a series of works called "Primitive". In an artist's talk I gave last Saturday, I mentioned my interest in the primal, the archaic when dealing with landscape-"its ancientness" and importance in our psyche. "Great minds... "(and even ours!

  3. After picking up my brushes again after laying them down for over 8 years, this is a very good question. All I know is that painting is what I do and vow to go down with a paint brush in my hand.

    PS nice painting.

  4. And I'm sure that will mean that you go down with something worth leaving behind, too! It's funny how we seem to give up something so important to us too easily - it just slides. And then we pick it up again, and realise what a big hole was left by its absence! I gave up reading books when my kids were born - too tired, too little time and sleep - and then went back (probably 8 years later) and rediscovered the joy I had missing from my life. I haven't been without a book since. I never quite gave up painting - but used to go crazy for about three days in a row, painting to "soothe the beast" - until the next time I was overwhelmed, and then I'd be fine for another few months. Great to be able to paint at will, now, though... Like Sophie says, best to paint because you can and want to, not for a how. Keep it up - love to see some examples!

  5. Just popped back in...noticed the Peter Doig work - like his painting very much...!

    Thanks for your great response Gabrielle. I listened to Radio National the other night - someone talking on the Nicholsen - or the man behind this museum - did you perhaps hear it?
    Not being aquainted with Sydney Uni (apart from proximity to places I have visited often) I am ignorant about this place sadly... so i am very pleased you have mentioned it and am keen to try and get there...even in May when I'm down!

    I'd have like to have heard your artist talk... theres some cross-over in sensibiltiy that is good to recognise!
    good painting,
    ps thought I was a follower... am now!

  6. Can tell you the where and how of the Nicholson - would love to accompany you when you go, depending on the schedule. And yes...heard the interview with the Bond St Fashionista turned curator of the Nic - small world!



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